Lead Safe Roanoke emphasizing importance of lead paint removal

Organization removing lead paint from home in Southeast Roanoke

ROANOKE, Va. – Heavy sheets of plastic were put down Thursday over much of the inside of the home that Beth Deel’s brother-in-law will soon be living in.

“I’m just overjoyed," Deel said.

The plastic is the first step in Lead Safe Roanoke’s process of removing the lead paint from the house so the house is safe for Deel’s brother-in-law and his family.

“You know how kids are. They are into everything, so I just want to make sure that there’s no chance they could have lead poisoning," Deel said.

Lead Safe Roanoke works to educate people about the dangers of lead paint.

“It’s absolutely a tragedy if a child gets sick. It causes ADD, ADHD. It can cause severe brain damage, coma, and even death in some cases," said Marla Robertson, Lead Safe Roanoke education and outreach specialist.

Part of removing the lead paint will include replacing all of the windows.

“Mom and dad may be opening and shutting a window, which creates that friction surface and that creates a fine dust that children can breathe in," Robertson explained.

According to Lead Safe Roanoke, nearly 90 percent of homes in Roanoke could have lead paint because they were built before lead was banned from household paint in 1978.

Deel’s brother-in-law’s home was built in 1916, so she didn’t hesitate to apply for help from Lead Safe Roanoke when the home was purchased.

“We were confident there was a tremendous amount of lead in the house," said Deel.

“Lead paint has a very specific look. It looks like alligator scales (when it decays)," Robertson said.

A look that, like the danger it represents, will soon be a thing of the past in this home.